The closing session of the Sloan Consortium 18th international conference for online learning followed the two themes that I set out in my first post; Massification and Inspiration. The wittily delivered presentation, “Citizen Science- Authentic Participation in Research” was delivered to an overwhelmingly US audience by fellow Brit Arfon Smith and left me feeling humbled, inspired and strangely proud.
Arfon Smith is Director of Citizen Science at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago and Technical Lead of the web-based citizen science platform Zooniverse. He leads a team of developers, educators and scientists who build citizen science projects across a range of disciplines including solar physics, papyrology and biodiversity.
Two weeks ago, I attended the Sloan Consortium’s 18th annual international conference for online learning in the US . Seeing that many of the over 1,500 attendees have been involved in online learning for many years, it’s not surprising that the current ‘MOOC mania,’ (massive open online courses) was viewed by many with scepticism.
Sebastian Thrun, founder of MOOC provider Udacity, had a hard pitch when he delivered the opening plenary session “Democratising Education” on day two of the conference. He is a Stanford professor and was the creator of the first MOOC. The famous A.I. open course that in September of last year attracted over 160,000 students to enrol in 7 days. “On the 8th day the University Administration asked me to drop by for a chat!” he told us. A story which won over a sizeable portion of the audience.
During a lull in a long meeting over the summer, a couple of colleagues at INTO were wrestling over our “elevator pitch” – what makes us distinctive. And we then broadened it out to think about ways in which universities can communicate their distinctiveness, a word appearing on many people’s lips across the sector. It’s difficult when there is so much change and much analysis is unremittingly bleak.
The first years of this decade have brought us funding challenges on both sides of the Atlantic, the emergence of the discerning customer, disruptive market entrants to higher education, confusing and poorly executed government policy on student visas and so on. It’s not easy being a traditional university in this environment. Moreover, after years of steady and quota-secured growth in tertiary enrolments, universities are facing serious structural challenges as various quasi-markets are created by government policy. The squeezed middle is very real.
INTO’s Director of Academic Affairs for the USA, JoAnn McCarthy, has recently co-authored a paper on internationalisation in the educational industry. In this blog she gives an overview of the paper and her thoughts on international study.
A complement to John K. Hudzik’s earlier publication, “Comprehensive Internationalization: From Concept to Action”, this most recent joint effort, entitled “Leading Comprehensive Internationalization: Strategy and Tactics for Action,” provides practical guidelines for starting, sustaining, and evaluating a comprehensive internationalisation agenda in a wide range of institutional types. Continue reading “Comprehensive internationalisation: the power of partnerships”→
It’s a confusing world. The forces shaping global higher education demand and supply seem to be working in opposite directions. On the one hand student demand for higher education is at an all-time high. The demand for graduate-level skills across the world is also growing at an exponential rate.
On the other, there is talk of unsustainable higher education systems in the United States – on the verge of bankruptcy and spending well beyond their means, and in China reports emerge of a growing army of unemployed graduates.
It’s that time of year again when A-Levels are released, Clearing provides a second wind to those who didn’t quite reach their desired number of Ucas points and we find out that finally the boys have got better grades than the girls.
It’s also that time of year when people begin to question the worth of higher education and look at the alternative routes to further their career without incurring debt.
An increasing number of higher education institutions in the United States are now financially unsustainable and debt-ridden according to a new report that surveyed almost 2,000 private and public schools from consulting company Bain & Co. and Sterling Partners, a US-based private-equity firm.
With the news announced recently that students will be using iPads on the International Business Diploma programme at INTO University of East Anglia, London, Tim Powell Jones, a teacher on the course gives his opinion on why this approach is the way forward.
With international student enrolment growth at seven times the US average, Oregon State University and INTO OSU know a thing or two about helping international students fully integrate.
Helping international students to succeed while encouraging domestic students to take advantage of the opportunities presented by having such a diverse range of nationalities on campus is one of the great challenges in international education. Lindy Osborne, Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator at INTO OSU explains the approach taken in Corvallis.